Accurately Preserving the Past for the Future
Evidence Based Research Project
Welcome to the official website for the Red Book of Scotland, a project that has been dedicated to the piecing together of Scotland's genealogical heritage for nearly thirty years.
It was in 1987 that the first parts of what was to become the Red Book of Scotland project were brought together. From then until now research has been continual and has focused on searching through thousands of extant primary records to accurately compile in-depth and comprehensive genealogical accounts of many of Scotland's principal families. Read More ->
Benefits of the Project:
- Fully-referenced ready-made genealogies;
- Extensive research within often obscure sources already conducted.
Many academics have commented that they are delighted and relieved to learn of the project’s existence as it spares them countless hours of research which they can instead dedicate to their papers. One senior member of staff at a Scottish University remarked “It's a very very useful resource, especially if you want to know about the seventh cousin twice removed of some obscure Scottish family.” This same sentiment is echoed by professional and amateur genealogists from around the world who either cannot dedicate the time, are unfamiliar with the sources or else have no ready access to the archives in which they are stored.
Because the Project lays the solid foundation, this allows those with a focus on a particular family to concentrate their research on locating and gathering further evidence to use to continue the building of a comprehensive overall genealogical picture.
Those already taking advantage of the Project include:
Here are just a few of the comments we regularly receive:
The book was great for fact checking and ensuring we were telling the right story. The panels that are now in the North West tower don't go into enormous detail, but they do rest on solid ground - National Trust for Scotland.
I am writing on behalf of the Baillie Collection held by the Scottish History area here at the University of Glasgow. We would like to acquire a set of the the Red Books for staff and postgraduate researchers - University of Glasgow.
What a marvelous work, you are to be thoroughly congratulated.
A staggering body of work. There is no doubt the Red Book will become the "industry standard" for all genealogical inquiries.
Thanks to you and the Red Book, within half an hour I had located my Robertson and Stewart ancestors and had taken my family all the way back to the 12th century.
I cannot begin to thank you for your time and expertise in putting a work like this together. What an achievement!
You've made a nice dent in my genealogy for me, and I thank you very much for that.Thank you for all of your work, compiling the plethora of information; very much appreciated!
Help us to do more.
Ideally, we would prefer to make all of the information gathered during research as well as the entire body of genealogical material free-to-view, however, as the Red Book project is entirely self-funded it is reliant upon revenue generated via sales of publications and donations to keep it going. Apart from book sales, we are always willing to discuss other options to generated revenue. These include advertising within our website, focused research projects and donations of either large bodies of evidence or credits for pay-to-view websites such as Scotland's People. Please contact to discuss.
Ground to a stand-still or trying to tie your ancestors into a senior branch?
We deal with these situations daily and have helped a considerable number of people to move beyond dead ends and link into a designated family. In doing so multiple doors are opened up which can allow for the accurate tracing of ancestry in both the male and females lines back to the most remote periods. When researching entries for inclusion into the Red Book we always commence with the earliest ancestor for whom there is evidence and work upwards through the ages towards the present day. As much as this runs contrary to most genealogical research which starts with the researcher's own family and works backwards, the significant benefit is that the possibility of intersection is greatly increased. Moreover, as our research is broad-ranging and conducted within non-digitised and often obscure, hard to read and interpret sources, this brings information to the surface and into our information base which could otherwise be extremely difficult to find.
Are you the heir to a Baronecty or Chiefship?
Baronecties of Nova Scotia are limited by their remainders which generally but by no means exclusively fall into two categories. The first of these is to "heirs male whatsoever" and the second is to "heirs male of the body." In the case of the former, succession to the title is in favour of the nearest heir male of the last Baronet and is irrespective of how near or even how remote that relationship actually may be. In the case of the latter, succession is restricted to the heir male come of the body of the first Baronet. This means that should the male descendants of this first Baronet become extinct then the Baronecty also extinguishes at the death of the last one. Dormant Chiefships can also be limited to the heirs male and those wishing to pursue claims should submit petitions to the Lyon Court. Not only do we have experience in researching and reporting on these types of cases but Red Book research has located evidence to allow for such claims to be pursued in the first instance.
Are you a Clan Society or Author looking to extend your historical information base?
We have conducted broad ranging and extremely in-depth research projects for Clan Societies and individuals with particular interests. In each case every project commences with a blank canvas and through research within primary source record, each fact and relationship is methodically pieced together thereby creating a database of extracts of original documents and entries in registers as well as accurate genealogies pieced together by those statements of relationships contained within extant evidence. In some cases this has revised and even rewritten previous histories and genealogies but in each the benefits of having such a wealth of accurate information to hand to drawn upon has been of a significant benefit to the organisation and individual. Where hitherto unknown relationships including descents from younger sons have been teased out, this has greatly benefited Society members in tying into a senior branch as well as providing DNA projects with accurate genealogies to use to chart and match the Clan's genetic and genealogical profiles.